Mississippi still on alert for incoming oil - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi still on alert for incoming oil


BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For every minute that goes by, another nine gallons of oil is released from a damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Governor Haley Barbour held a news conference Sunday night in Biloxi to address where Mississippi stands in the wake of the coastal crisis. He said the focus right now is to put booms in place to protect the most fragile eco-habitats.

"The beaches are not the hardest thing to clean up," Barbour said. "If we had enough boom for everywhere we want to put it, we'd put it everywhere and we'd put back up everywhere."

Congressman Gene Taylor addressed a rumor that oil is being steered toward Mississippi's coastline.

"The only person who's steering this oil now is God," Taylor said. "There is no man-made effort, despite what people might say, to steer this oil the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

It could still be at least three months before a relief well can be set up to help stop the leak. The Head of the Coast Guard and man charged with overseeing efforts, Admiral Thad Allen, gave a report of efforts underway to stop the leak. He said there's been some good news in trying to minimize the dispersment of the oil.

"The most favorable change in the response so far has been a test the day before yesterday and today Sunday of sending a pipe down 5,000 feet to the source of the leak and applying dispersant directly to the leak, doing it at the source, rather than letting it come to the surface," Adm. Allen said.

Admiral Allen also said this mission is less like the Exxon Valdez and more like Apollo 13, meaning a lot of creative thinking is what's going to ultimately solve this problem.

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